Tips from my fifty-year long love affair with nature

Author’s photo, taken in the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens

I was born in a city, to parents who had lived their whole lives in cities. As a young child, I lived in Queens, New York. The closest I got to nature back then typically consisted of going to the beach and swimming in the ocean.
One of my earliest memories from childhood was a time when a friend of mine and I snuck into a neighbor’s garden. I was around six years old and had never been in a garden before. …


Organic gardening basics

Children can begin gardening when they are toddlers — Author’s photo

Children can help with gardening beginning at a very young age, starting a lifelong love of the outdoors. Whether a spot for children to play in the garden, a garden of their own, or a faerie garden where adults and children alike can find whimsy, gardens offer opportunities for people of all ages.

Gardening with a toddler

Babies and toddlers like to put things in their mouths. One reason why organic gardening is great for babies and toddlers is the fruit and vegetables you grow are safe to eat right in the garden!

Toddlers have brains that are like little sponges. Everything you teach…


Organic gardening basics

My garden, located in New York State. This photo shows ways I experimented with fabric planters (they were great!) and also shows the placement of a picnic table, perfect for a summer lunch or potting plants — Author’s photo.

One of the first things to do when you decide to have a garden is to create a plan. To make that plan, you will need to determine where your garden will be located and how you want to use your garden. Knowing your location will help you understand the amount of sun and space available, which, in turn, will help you know which plants you want to grow and when to plant them.

How do you want to use your garden?

There are many ways you might want to use your garden. Here are a few ways I’ve used my garden in the past.

  • Growing ornamentals: Whether…


Or don’t, if it adds to your pain

Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

TW: rape, suicide.

Imagine being outside,
on a beautiful day,
and having a group of boys
rape you.
Imagine you’re only 15
or maybe 14.

Imagine thinking about suicide
for the next 50 years
because you thought
it was your fault.

Imagine being a child
and wondering if the world
would be better off without you.

Imagine thinking that at 15
or maybe younger.

Imagine having the man you love,
kick you down some stairs
and then kick you again
in the stomach,
as you lay on the floor,
protecting the baby
you might be carrying.

Imagine being glad
you…


I’m not sorry for writing this

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

People make mistakes. Relationships are messy. Sometimes we all do something that hurts someone we care about, or we do something just plain wrong. When that happens, a heartfelt apology can go a long way to soothe the troubled waters.

Yet, somehow, saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t always work. There can be a lot of reasons why your apology didn’t help repair the damage. You may have done something that needs a lot more than words to help create healing. Your relationship may have been at the tipping point, and this most recent event pushed it over the edge. The other…


Organic gardening basics

Compost is the answer to everything! Photo by author

If you are going to start or significantly renovate a garden, there are certain things you need — things you need to do and things you need to use. The first things you need are a location and a sense of how you want to use the garden. You also need to identify any construction that may need to take place and the tools or equipment needed to do the work. Additionally, you need two budgets — one for how much it will cost and the second for the amount of time you have available.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The first and most critical…


2020 hindsight for the years to come

Photo by eggbank on Unsplash

One of the standing jokes about the year 2020 was that it proved time travel really does exist because we now understand that 2020 hindsight has less to do with having perfect vision and more to do with what we learned from the most challenging year of our lives.

The year 2020 is when I, like many others, joined Medium. It became a place for me to share the pain I was feeling being separated from my family and an opportunity to share things I was learning. Although I haven’t yet cracked the code on making $10,000 a month (my…


Organic gardening basics

Photo of author’s garden in upstate New York — Photo by author

For more than 50 years, I’ve been growing organic gardens. In many ways, it is very simple. This article will answer a few basic questions about organic gardening and provide links to a few additional resources.

What is organic gardening?

Gardening organically involves a series of practices that avoid chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides and use natural practices instead.

Two basic practices make a garden organic:

1.Using natural fertilizers and other inputs to make the soil healthy.

2. Avoiding chemicals such as insecticides or herbicides.

In actuality, however, there is so much more to it.

When we garden organically, we consider the overall ecosystem…


Some made no sense at all yet taught me everything I needed to know about love and life.

Photo by Wim van 't Einde on Unsplash

My mother used to say some pretty random stuff, all of which had a deeper meaning and helped shape me into the person I am.

She was almost undoubtedly autistic, as I am, as at least one other family member is, and possibly others are. They were often odd ways, unique ways, of talking about an important message in life.

“Whether it’s cold, or whether it’s hot, we’re gonna have weather, whether or not,” was one of her favorite answers if you asked what the weather was like outside or what it was going to be like tomorrow. That set…

Crystalclearcandace

Writer, poet, gardener, life-long learner, warrior for children, lover of faerie, freedom, and joy. She/her/hers.

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